LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Baylor would just as soon never see Oregon State again in March.
And everyone else should be ecstatic the Pac-12 won't get to play in Rupp Arena next spring.
It's a long commute, but the Pac-12 continues to make itself right at home in one of basketball's most iconic arenas. For the third season in a row, at least one Pac-12 team will play for a place in the Final Four on Sunday in Rupp -- and it could still be an all-Pac-12 regional final here for the second time in three years. That's because for the second time in three years, Baylor's season came to an end against Oregon State in the regional round.
A week after making history against Tennessee, No. 6 seed Oregon State scored an even bigger upset in the moment with a 72-67 win against second-seeded Baylor.
Marie Gulich led Oregon State with 26 points and nine rebounds. Teammate Kat Tudor added 16 points and hit four 3-point attempts. And Katie McWilliams hit her only 3-pointer of the game with 12 seconds left to secure the win.
Kalani Brown led Baylor with 19 points but needed 19 shots to get there. After missing just 16 shots in the first two rounds, she and teammate Lauren Cox missed 17 in the regional semifinal.
The Big 12 regular-season and tournament champion ends its season with a 33-2 record.
There is more to come from Lexington, but here's how it looked at the final buzzer.
Player of the game: It has to be Gulich, who played her best game of the postseason. She wasn't playing one-on-two against Baylor's dynamic duo of Cox and Brown -- that would be ignoring another quietly excellent game from Oregon State freshman forward Taya Corosdale and her ability to stretch Baylor's defense. For the second game in a row, the freshman hit a back-breaking 3-pointer to give the Beavers late breathing room.
But puns aside, Gulich was the center of everything for the Beavers. She made Brown work on both ends of the court early, matching Baylor's All-American almost point for point. But the second half is where Gulich often shines, because she seems to simply play harder, longer, than most people in college basketball. Despite playing 38 minutes, she was still there in the fourth quarter wrestling for offensive rebounds, flattening Baylor point guard Alexis Morris with a screen, hitting elbow jumpers and hitting two free throws in the final minute.
If there was any doubt the German is an All-American, it's gone now.
How it was won: Oregon State didn't let Baylor get any momentum early, jumping to a 20-15 first-quarter lead -- the first time Baylor trailed after a quarter since January. Baylor regained the upper hand by turning up the perimeter pressure in the second quarter, not letting Oregon State easily begin the pick-and-roll sets it loves. That situation was made all the worse by foul trouble for Oregon State point guard Mikayla Pivec.
But with Pivec able to stay on the court for much of the second half -- she drove and kicked to McWilliams for the clutch 3-pointer in the final minute -- the Beavers went back to doing what they've done for three rounds. They patiently ran off Gulich and fed her the ball in the high post and let her work.
By the time Baylor made a late run behind two 3-pointers and a three-point play from Morris, perhaps a preview of coming attraction from the freshman, Oregon State already had enough of a lead to hold on.
Stat of the game: Thirty-eight rebounds. A week ago, Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said he was proud that his team almost stayed even with Tennessee on the boards. What adjective is left after the Beavers beat the nation's best rebounding team on the boards by one rebound?
What's next: Oregon State awaits the winner of Friday's second game between top-seeded Louisville and No. 4 Stanford.
Rueck was barely more than two seasons into rebuilding the program when the Beavers and Cardinals played for the first and only time. That there was still some work to do was apparent in Louisville's 18-point win during an early-season contest in Mexico. As far as more recent common opponents, Oregon State lost close games this season at home against Notre Dame and at Duke. Louisville went 3-0 against those teams.
Oregon State's history with Stanford is obviously much richer. The Beavers lost by three points at home in the lone meeting so far this season.